Corpse Flower Viewing is Botanical Craziness

Corpse FlowerI’ve done a lot of kooky things in my day, but waiting in a long line of other early-rising plant nerds to get a glimpse (and whiff) of a flower could top the list.

The alert went out last night on the 10 o’clock news: The Corpse Flower at the Denver Botanic Gardens has started to bloom!

DBG members would get the first crack at seeing the monster plant starting at 6:00 a.m. When I arrived at 6:30, the parking garage was full and there was already a line that snaked its way around Marnie’s Pavilion. It was a little like standing in line for Space Mountain at Disney World.

It certainly paid to get there early. I waited just over an hour and was lucky enough to grab one of 1000 commemorative Corpse Flower barf bags — a clever play on the fact the plant emits a distinct fragrance to attract pollinators when it’s in full bloom.

Keeping All Moms in My Thoughts Today

Happy Mother’s Day 2011

My favorite Allan Houser sculpture at the Denver Botanic Gardens is this one called “Singing Heart.” I love everything about it.

Houser completed this bronze in 1994 and it’s a wonderful example of what could be called “The Houser Style.” I appreciate the rounded form and wonder how he was able to create the texture of the mother’s shawl wrapped around her baby. Even though Singing Heart depicts one mother with her child, I feel like it represents all mothers and their children, and perhaps even Mother Earth herself.

Native Roots Spread at the Botanic Gardens

Following on the success of its Henry Moore exhibition, the Denver Botanic Gardens has staged another remarkable exhibit to introduce gardeners to the works of famed modernist sculptor, Allan Houser.

I had the chance to get a sneak peek of the new Native Roots, Modern Form exhibition at the Denver Botanic Gardens on Friday morning. The gardens were especially beautiful and provided the ideal setting to showcase these amazing works of art.

“Allan Houser was one of the singular major 21st Century American artists,” says David Rettig, curator of Allan Houser, Inc. “He created whole genres of artwork.”

Allan Houser was a Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache named Allan C. Haozous when he was born in 1914. His parents were held as prisoners of war for many years and Allan was the first child in his family born out of captivity.

Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light is on at the York Street location. Don’t miss this chance to see the gardens transformed into a fairyland decorated with one million sparkling lights. The show is every evening through January 2, 2011. Ticket information available at

For a preview of what you’ll see, here’s a slide show of last year’s Blossoms of Light event.

Sneak Peek of New DBG Greenhouse Complex

Thanks to the Better Denver Bond Campaign–and Denver voters–the new Denver Botanic Gardens Greenhouse Complex is almost ready for its debut. This morning, the Gardens hosted members of the media to a sneak peek of the shiny new facility.

The Denver Botanic Gardens Greenhouse Complex opens to visitors on September 4, but if you’re a Denver County resident, you might want to wait until September 6 when you can get in for free. Marketing and PR director Robin Doerr told me the free day is DBG’s way of saying thank you to the community for approving funding for the project.

“We’re humbled in a time of difficult economic conditions to be able to do this,” she said.

More than $15 million was allocated for the major construction project that includes 50,000 square-feet of greenhouses, labs, offices, classrooms and other amenities. The exterior shows creative blending of existing structures–the Tropical Conservatory on the right–with the new Marnie’s Pavilion (left).

Denver Botanic Gardens at Night Slide Show

If you won’t have the chance to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens and its holiday light show, here’s a glimpse into the Blossoms of Light winter wonderland. John Pendleton captured these images using the night scenery setting on his camera and a tripod for each long exposure.

Click on “view all images” to see the slide show and to enjoy each scene individually. Be sure to look for the full moon captured in the Peace on Earth photo.

Blossoms of Light Kicks Off Holiday Season

See the Denver Botanic Gardens in a whole new light and kick off the holiday season as the Blossoms of Light show returns to the York Street location this year.

Blossoms of Light
Last year the Denver Botanic Gardens was in the midst of its huge renovation project and the annual Blossoms of Light extravaganza was dark in December. I really missed being able to stroll through the gardens on a frosty night, oohing and ahhing at the fabulous light displays and stopping for a hot chocolate along the way.

But Blossoms of Light is back and I can’t wait for the opening this weekend.

If you haven’t seen the gardens decked out in 1 million sparkling LED lights, you haven’t seen it in its full potential.

I love the trees wrapped with red and white lights so the trunks look like giant candy canes. The evergreens decked out in electric blue are stunning, the scene by the lake is something out of a fairy tale.

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